In the United States, the introduction of the ‘meaningful use’ law is revolutionizing the health care sector. As an important policy, this law plans to change the current use, payment, and health care delivery systems. The described policy aims at making the American health care system efficient, better and affordable for patients. Despite the many hurdles towards its implementation, the ‘meaningful use is the model that will lead the social, political, and business groups through the unclear landscape of health care changes from its current undeveloped stage to the envisioned global premiere system. The objective of this paper is to analyze the laws of implementation for different segments of the health care sector that include nurses, national health policy, nursing, population health, and patient results linked with gathering and utilizing the ‘meaningful use program. This paper includes a general review of the program, impacts of its full-time use, and evidence-centered for its recommendation. In addition, the analysis incorporates the positive and negative aspects of the EMR from a nurse’s perspective.
Overview of meaningful use in nursing
The concept of Meaning Use (MU) originated from the National Quality Forum (NQF), which initially intended to use the idea to develop national priorities aimed at enhancing and improving healthcare efforts. The National Quality Forum pinpointed segments that needed change. Some of these segments included patient engagement, enhanced population wellbeing, boosted efficiency, the management of care, reduced racial biases, and improved safety. This move marked the beginning of the Meaningful Use of EHRs/EMR (electronic medical/health records). The Medicaid Services and Medicare centers (CMS) External Links developed the Meaningful Use as a set criterion that revolves around paying providers for attaining set standards associated with the meaningful use of technology to uplift patient care. Engaging families and patients, reducing health inequality, and enhancing communication for easier management of care form the basis of EHRs implementation (Baker, 2013).
The implementation of the Meaningful Use is done in three main stages, which are spread over a five-year period. The first stage that ended in 2012 mostly centered on continuous documentation of data, implementing the knowledge gathered to involve better families and patients and reviewing health patterns. The second stage, which was completed in 2014, stressed progressive sharing such as electronic exchange and e-prescribing of patient care reports amongst caregivers. Stage 3, which will also mark the end of the incentive payment, will end in 2016 and it will generally focus on giving patients access to self-management tools as well as improved results. In addition, the implementation of the Meaningful Use program offers lucrative incentive payments to any external link provider that embraces EHRs coupled with using the program to treat both Medicaid and Medicare patients. However, the incentive offered would vary by state, and thus the CMS programs will help clarify the details of reimbursements.
Meaningful Use program Impact on Health Care
Meaningful Use will change how nurses, doctors, and other stakeholders involved initially document their medical information. In a bid to attain the set criterion by the CMS, proper documentation and charting are important for anyone involved in patient care. During the transformation period, the healthcare stakeholders should be flexible and ascertain that they answer all patient-related information completely and accurately.
The implementation of the new program will influence how providers treat and approach patients, including having a clear picture of what is still missing. Providers, through the EHR’s interface, will obtain better data on tests, treatments, or screen tools that may be missing. The EHR’s detects the gaps within the tests or preventive screenings and inform the provider to retain the correct treatments.
The Meaningful Use program results in a more practical patient for through the patient platforms, portals, and other online tools, the clients will access their own medication lists online. This aspect directly implies that the patient choices will be more professional and well-informed in their health care (Baker, 2013).
It will also promote better coexistence amongst the different providers. The general objective of EHR is to offer an actual image of the patients’ health that hospitals, providers, and clinics across the country can see. If the caregivers have this type of information at hand, it makes it easy for them to compare and decide what would work best for the patient.
Strengths and limitations
Many providers often view meaningful use as a complex task, as they have to work persistently towards attaining the government’s demands on a strict timeframe and still offer quality care. The successful implementation of the policy is time-consuming, and thus the involved stakeholders may resist it or be reluctant to adopt it. In addition, the policy requires restructuring of the nurses’ learning process in a bid to be conversant with the different elements of meaningful use. Therefore, the entire process will be costly. However, regardless of the limitations offered by the meaningful use program, its overall objective is clear. It seeks to offer recurrent quality health care to children, women, and men across the US in a way that permits the patient to participate actively in the treatment process. Improved interaction and communication lead to better treatment results and meaningful use is one aspect of attaining that objective (Goel et al., 2011).
Empirical studies show that Meaningful Use gains more relevance as the private entities and government and the successively connected reimbursements stress quality results. Many other sources offer evidence-based data confirming the symbiotic relationship that exists between the EHR system of data collection and providers’ collaboration. For example, Baker (2013) talks of the advantages of remaining positive while making alterations that involve EHR implementation and identifying just how the aforementioned results have benefits for those involved. Other researchers pushed providers to seek adequate staff training and pay-performance incentives to help reduce the new technology adoption burden. On the other hand, Goldberg et al. (2012) stress the relevance of initiating protocols for staff and planning for work changes to follow investment in communication and training, a guarantee of appropriate technical support, and operation as a team as main aspects of successful implementation.
Different researches help in reinforcing the view that adequate collaboration is relevant during the data collection since any incorrect electronic quality measure reporting may vary from the initial manual analysis. In addition, worries about safthety and privacy of cloud computing add to the impediments that are expected in the implementation of this policy (Goel et al., 2011). In addition, as EHRs practices begin to adopt and intertwine with Meaning Use, barriers such as staff variable learning efforts, the period in which staff members can remain attentive, and the caregivers’ age understand new ideas are part of the problems.
Therefore, in a bid to achieve the full potential of EMRs, people need to use informatics concepts in system implementation and design. In the present state, the idea of total system integration may not be surmountable. However, there is a need to invest money, effort, and time in stressing the implementation of integrated activities involving health care responsibilities that joint disciplines share. Currently, the involved parties need to pay more attention to the system usability patterns. This kind of desired advancement as advised only happens when stakeholders jointly employ human factor principles to affect the technological system functions and needs that improve the clinicians’ workflow patterns implementation and system design.
As compared to all other health caregivers, nurses spend more time with the patients, and thus they play an important part of initiating and attaining Meaningful Use of EHRs. Therefore, it is imperative that they recognize how their Meaningful Use of the technology can make a difference. For example, they can use the information collected in the EHR systems to update and enlighten the health community of their results. From another perspective, nursing informatics presents employment opportunities in this fast-expanding niche. Therefore, if the Meaningful Use systems are to revolutionize health care, nurses need to include their ideas in their development and planning to guarantee system usability and patient safety. The success of technology relies on the nurses’ capability and willingness to change the healthcare field at all levels. From influencing federal laws to offering information to their facility management about the aspects that work best for the clinicians and patients. If the program is correctly implemented, it may eventually provide nurses with more free time to spend with patients educating, analyzing, and offering emotional support.
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Goel, S., Brown, L., Williams, A., Cooper, J., Hsnain-Wynia, R., & Baker, D. (2011).
Patient reported barriers to enrolling in a patient portal. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 18(1), 8-12.
Goldberg, G., Kuzel, J., Feng, B., DeShazo, P., & Love, L. (2012). EHRs in primary
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